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[RedHotJazz] Ernest Virgo/Nelson, was: Oh no, not Flo again

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  • Michael Rader
    J.T., The suggestion that different clarinet players were responsible for the two sessions in question was inspired by an off-hand remark in one of Chris
    Message 1 of 24 , Sep 14, 2009
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      J.T.,

      The suggestion that different clarinet players were responsible for the two sessions in question was inspired by an off-hand remark in one of Chris Hillman's postings that the clarinet on "Red Hot Flo" was played by Clifford King, and that he was on more recordings in the twenties (presumably than had been previously thought). Situating him in the Bradford OKeh session was simply guesswork on my part.

      When you say the identity "had been determined", by what means? Recording files, interviews, newspaper items? Or was it agreement among a select band of listeners? If the latter, then anyone has a right to challenge it (as I suspect Chris Hillman is going to do in his new book). We have the example of "Flo" on this list, where majority opinion favours Arville Harris and I still have serious doubts. The panel method is time-honoured but still not completely reliable. Were the findings on Nelson ever published? It would help to say where instead of requiring people to go digging through their files.

      As for Ernest Virgo, I think the impression that has come over is that he was in some way a crusader in the cause of Arnett Nelson, whom he seems to have considered neglected or underrated - honourable but not always the best judge on aural evidence. Although you might not know them, there are people on the list who have been listening to the music for decades (more than four in my case) and reading magazines and books (and even liner notes), although not writing on the music themselves until the less formal format of the internet allowed them to do so.

      Michael Rader


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    • yves francois
      Michael/J T and all else concerned with Nelson, Harris et all ... I had to again!.Just as a curiosity I have played the Red Hot Flo and One O Clock Blues
      Message 2 of 24 , Sep 15, 2009
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        Michael/J T and all else concerned with Nelson, Harris et all ...

        I had to again!.Just as a curiosity I have played the "Red Hot Flo" and "One O Clock Blues" (Le Roy Tibbs) again - I am saying the RHF is Harris ONLY if we agree that the solo on OOCB is also Harris. The two solos are by far better than anything else in the Harris oeuvre IMHO, review the facts though: one is a ? (Red Hot Flo) the other we know he (Arville) was in the reed section - is Carmello Jejo (plz refer to his work on the Williams session we know of and the Leon Abbey band The Savoy Bearcats, I am still searching for PR latin recordings form before 1928 with clarinets on them), or , more likely Benny Moten (other Clarence Williams sessions of the 1926/7 epoch) a possible on RHF and the soloist on the Tibbs session - if it is not Harris, Michael what do you think? I see it as "probably" Arville Harris, but, unlike many, without empirical evidence I do not try to label as definite (for me the Waller solo on the blues also points to Harris being
        the soloist on the other two, but it is not quite the same - and most of Arville's other work is inexcusable). I will, however - at this point in time - stick my neck out and say it is NOT Arnett Nelson (I thought of him as a possibility initially), due to the vibrato and the approach to phrasing (and the very different approaches to getting the vibrato onto a note), and agree with Anthony Barnett re Clifford King (a Noone devotee anyways)...
        Re: Virgo, and Nelson.
        I see no reason to doubt the presence of Arnett Nelson on the Bradford/Wade sides. I do believe Virgo did enough musical research to have figured out the Bradford sides as Arnett Nelson (he is in the reed section on the pictures). it makes sense to me - most of the same features are there, Nelson avoids the same amount and degree of vibrato than most classic NOLA clarinets do, but still has it on the longer held notes, the clarinet on the Wade's and Bradford's have this characteristic that the CRK (I own both 78's from 1936 BTW, consider them that important, seeing that palmer and Nelson are on them, why oh why Bell and not a Collins,or a Miller?? - they could have been the best examples of 1930's NOLA jazz if they had a more positive trumpet - still great music) and the clarinet in the excellent Arnett Nelson LP - check the wonderful Washboard Rhythm Kings session from 1935 on Bluebird (that clarinet on "Street Walkin Woman" is wonderful BTW). Perhaps
        Virgo was trying to put his protagonist on as many records as possible - I think he did an excellent job in resurrecting a forgotten figure in jazz history - but remember a few years ago Jabbo Smith was purposed to be on the second Victor session of Thomas Morris - and the player bears no similarities to Smith's save for the attack and tone (right now I believe they are claims to him being the semi mythical Big Charlie Thomas - on the basis of another Eva Taylor/Clarence Williams recording - "Shake that Thing') - the melodic countor is totally different than jabbo's known work, even in 1927...
        I really need to sleep, I am in the USA and it is 2.20 am CST,and do work in the morning, Flo is one girl that never ceases to quell my intrigue sort to speak, as do hot clarinets in general
        all the best and more soon
        Yves Francois
      • armstark2000
        Yves, other Flo seekers, I don t know what King sounded like in 1927, since there is as far as I know no *confirmed* example of his playing prior to the
        Message 3 of 24 , Sep 15, 2009
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          Yves, other Flo seekers,

          I don't know what King sounded like in 1927, since there is as far as I know no *confirmed* example of his playing prior to the recordings with Eddie South. Now on to the Wade band:
          There is a piece on the band in "Storyville 56" by Ralph Gulliver. I can't go into all details for the moment, but these are the most relevant:
          - King was a member of the Wade band, in particular in late 1926-early 1927.
          - The Wade band was in New York during the period in question, returning to Chicago in mid-late April 1927, i.e. it is possible that musicians from the Wade band accompanied Eva Taylor up to the "Flo" session.
          - Someone actually seems to have spoken with King. Does anyone know if this has ever been published?
          - Has anything ever been published on Ernest Virgo's research on Arnett Nelson?

          Michael Rader
        • David Brown
          Yves and all We are circling. My original certainty of Arville on Flo , as posted and subsequently re-posited, was by specific comparison with the Tibbs One
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 16, 2009
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            Yves and all

            We are circling. My original certainty of Arville on 'Flo', as posted and
            subsequently re-posited, was by specific comparison with the Tibbs 'One
            O'clock Blues' extended to the Waller 'Harlem Fuss'. The clarinet phrasing
            and sound of the solos on the latter two sides are almost identical and
            there is absolutely no doubt that 'Fuss' is Arville as there is an eye
            witness account of the session in Condon 'We Called It Music'.

            I have extracted the solos and can provide MP3s to anybody doubting. Also
            see my post of Monday for yet more Arville confirmation.

            Dave


            _


            _,_._,___


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Brown
            Hi Yves Notwithstanding the aural evidence that Arville is on the Tibbs, the personnel is from an irrefutable source, Ed Allen himself. All Best Dave [Non-text
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 17, 2009
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              Hi Yves

              Notwithstanding the aural evidence that Arville is on the Tibbs, the
              personnel is from an irrefutable source, Ed Allen himself.

              All Best

              Dave








              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • armstark2000
              Dave While it is most likely that the clarinetist on the Tibbs is Harris, playing very well incidentally, there are at least two other reed players. Did Allen
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 17, 2009
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                Dave

                While it is most likely that the clarinetist on the Tibbs is Harris, playing very well incidentally, there are at least two other reed players. Did Allen say that the clarinet soloist is Harris, and where did he give the personnel?

                Michael
                >
                > Notwithstanding the aural evidence that Arville is on the Tibbs, the
                > personnel is from an irrefutable source, Ed Allen himself.
              • David Brown
                Hello Michael When Flo first leapt into the saddle I thoroughly researched all relevant discographical matter and even consulted the world s greatest extant
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 17, 2009
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                  Hello Michael

                  When 'Flo' first leapt into the saddle I thoroughly researched all relevant
                  discographical matter and even consulted the world's greatest extant active
                  discographer.

                  The Tibbs personnel is on the sleeve of Arcadia issue 2008 and is from an
                  interview with Allen.

                  No idea if he identified soloists but I have no doubt that the clarinet
                  soloist on 'One o'clock Blues' is the same as that on 'Harlem Fuss'. The
                  solos are near identical, even in structure. A step further to extend to
                  'Flo' as the solo here cannot be identical in structure although it is near
                  identical in sound, technique and style.

                  Dave





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jtdyamond
                  Hi all: I originally sent this reply three weeks ago, but it appears it wasn t received. On the 12 and 14 January 1981, Ernest Virgo wrote to me to suggest
                  Message 8 of 24 , Oct 12, 2009
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                    Hi all:

                    I originally sent this reply three weeks ago, but it appears it wasn't received.

                    On the 12 and 14 January 1981, Ernest Virgo wrote to me to suggest that the Eva Taylor sessions of c.6 August 1926, 5 October 1926, and 16 April 1926 (Red Hot Flo), as well as the Sara Martin session of 9 April 1927 and a few Clarence Williams Blue Five items from the same period all featured members of the Wade Orchestra, including Arnett Nelson and Clifford King. This suggestion, which originated with him, arose out of documentary research from which he learnt that the Wade Band was working in New York at that time, a trip it made from Chicago on a fairly regular basis apparently. As a trained historian (and a semi-retired professional musician) I believe this methodology is sound, in the absence of recording ledgers.

                    If Ernest never published his findings, it should be no surprise, considering the scant encouragement he received over the years. A few of us have (incomplete) files arising from our discussions with him. As to the whereabouts of his own files, I could hazard a guess, but I'd rather not at this juncture.

                    J.T. Dyamond

                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "armstark2000" <Rader.Michael@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Yves, other Flo seekers,
                    >
                    > I don't know what King sounded like in 1927, since there is as far as I know no *confirmed* example of his playing prior to the recordings with Eddie South. Now on to the Wade band:
                    > There is a piece on the band in "Storyville 56" by Ralph Gulliver. I can't go into all details for the moment, but these are the most relevant:
                    > - King was a member of the Wade band, in particular in late 1926-early 1927.
                    > - The Wade band was in New York during the period in question, returning to Chicago in mid-late April 1927, i.e. it is possible that musicians from the Wade band accompanied Eva Taylor up to the "Flo" session.
                    > - Someone actually seems to have spoken with King. Does anyone know if this has ever been published?
                    > - Has anything ever been published on Ernest Virgo's research on Arnett Nelson?
                    >
                    > Michael Rader
                    >
                  • David Brown
                    Hello again J.T. Many thanks for your information on the origins of the King Flo theory. The sessions you mention, Taylor & Martin, are pretty wide spread
                    Message 9 of 24 , Oct 13, 2009
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                      Hello again J.T.

                      Many thanks for your information on the origins of the King 'Flo' theory.

                      The sessions you mention, Taylor & Martin, are pretty wide spread over a
                      year April 1926 - April 1927. I shall certainly try to hear them anew.

                      But, also as a trained (art) historian and fully retired non-musician, I
                      observe that the fact that the Wade band may have been in NYC coincidentally
                      with these recordings is pretty flimsy circumstantial evidence.

                      Recording ledgers should be cast iron but all other evidence is not.
                      Unfortunately musicians' memories are far from infallible, for various
                      reasons, although possibly the second safest source. After that we get into
                      circumstantial evidence which can, I agree, be supportive but only
                      supportive. The only other evidence is aural which is, agreed, subjective
                      but which must be our own personal final arbiter.

                      My ears tell me Arville is on 'Flo' and I bring the circumstantial
                      supporting evidence that he is present on immediately adjacent Clarence
                      sessions and was firmly part of the Clarence stable at this time whereas
                      King and/or Arnett were not.

                      Dave







                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Howard Rye
                      An even bigger problem with musicians¹ memories than the mere fallibility of memory is the specific problem that the memories may be genuine but have become
                      Message 10 of 24 , Oct 13, 2009
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                        An even bigger problem with musicians¹ memories than the mere fallibility of
                        memory is the specific problem that the memories may be genuine but have
                        become attached to the wrong date or event, even without the help of the
                        interviewer.

                        I know of a number of cases in which it is clear (e.g from their remembering
                        a different instrumentation from what is heard) that musicians are
                        remembering a rehearsal session rather than the recording session itself.
                        The rehearsal probably went on longer. Seriously. There is a lot of
                        circumstantial evidence that sidemen were often not clear whether a
                        particular performance was actually being recorded or not, and a lot of
                        confusion also between radio broadcasts and recording. This may seem strange
                        to us, who care, but they were just earning their crust. Who cared as long
                        as they got paid. Then 20-30-40 years later some obsessive comes along and
                        asks them to try to remember. Surprisingly, they often do their best. The
                        ones who just say any old thing are notorious, but there aren¹t many of
                        them.

                        The notion that because the Wade band were in New York, they are on any
                        particular record hardly needs comment from me (or anyone). I was on the
                        receiving end of a lot of these theories of Ernest¹s and I gave them scant
                        encouragement (none at all if I could help it because I knew it would only
                        generate even more theorizing unrelated to any reasonably demonstrable
                        fact).

                        There were how many African-American members of Local 802 who could equally
                        well be the musicians on these records?

                        Yes of course it¹s not as easy as that. If these guys sound like members of
                        the Wade band, then establishing that those members were in New York on the
                        dates when the recordings took place is a good start. If they weren¹t it at
                        least rules them out. But remember they have to be provable to have been
                        there on the date of every one of the recordings by the musician that Ernest
                        wanted to hear as Arnett Nelson. I don¹t think so. The problem with this
                        kind of ³research² is that it may well reach correct conclusions in any one
                        case, but no one can ever tell. It¹s a special case of the boy who cried
                        ³Wolf!².

                        I do know that if Ernest had been able to produce a schedule of when the
                        Wade band was in New York, free of any speculative accretions, Storyville
                        would have been only too happy to publish it. A lot of real research on the
                        Wade band was done by Ralph Gulliver (it¹s in Storyville 56) and I suggest
                        that anyone who wants to pursue this start by reading that.

                        ³Argumentem ad hominem² is childish in the extreme, but I also am a trained
                        historian, and I am very grateful that those who trained me taught me to
                        distinguish circumstantial evidence from real evidence. I hope you will
                        never again hear me even imply that ³I am a trained historian, therefore
                        such and such is true.² Horse feathers!


                        on 13/10/2009 09:14, David Brown at johnhaleysims@... wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hello again J.T.
                        >
                        > Many thanks for your information on the origins of the King 'Flo' theory.
                        >
                        > The sessions you mention, Taylor & Martin, are pretty wide spread over a
                        > year April 1926 - April 1927. I shall certainly try to hear them anew.
                        >
                        > But, also as a trained (art) historian and fully retired non-musician, I
                        > observe that the fact that the Wade band may have been in NYC coincidentally
                        > with these recordings is pretty flimsy circumstantial evidence.
                        >
                        > Recording ledgers should be cast iron but all other evidence is not.
                        > Unfortunately musicians' memories are far from infallible, for various
                        > reasons, although possibly the second safest source. After that we get into
                        > circumstantial evidence which can, I agree, be supportive but only
                        > supportive. The only other evidence is aural which is, agreed, subjective
                        > but which must be our own personal final arbiter.
                        >
                        > My ears tell me Arville is on 'Flo' and I bring the circumstantial
                        > supporting evidence that he is present on immediately adjacent Clarence
                        > sessions and was firmly part of the Clarence stable at this time whereas
                        > King and/or Arnett were not.
                        >
                        > Dave
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                        > howard@...
                        > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                        >



                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • ikey100
                        As regards rehearsals vs. recording sessions, a good example, among many, of such uncertainty from authentic memories is in Andy Kirk s book Twenty Years On
                        Message 11 of 24 , Oct 13, 2009
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                          As regards rehearsals vs. recording sessions, a good example, among many, of such uncertainty from authentic memories is in Andy Kirk's book "Twenty Years On Wheels", in his anecdote about the Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys session. Kirk says that while playing a Philadelphia gig alongside Calloway, she was to record but lacked a band. I don't recall without checking if it was a theater or club, but according to Kirk's account, he was detained on a pretext upstairs while his band was secretly rehearsed with Calloway downstairs. He says that he figured out the scam that was underway, but leaves the impression that he was not part of the result. However, Rust lists Kirk himself as having played on the session in Camden with the rest of the band, so either the book's account is incomplete, or he was remembering the episode with some significant blurring of detail. Either way, his first hand anecdote is simultaneously authentic and yet possibly misleading.

                          Warren


                          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > An even bigger problem with musicians¹ memories than the mere fallibility of memory is the specific problem that the memories may be genuine but have become attached to the wrong date or event, even without the help of the interviewer.
                          >
                          > I know of a number of cases in which it is clear (e.g from their remembering a different instrumentation from what is heard) that musicians are remembering a rehearsal session rather than the recording session itself. The rehearsal probably went on longer. Seriously. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that sidemen were often not clear whether a particular performance was actually being recorded or not, and a lot of confusion also between radio broadcasts and recording.
                        • Howard Rye
                          And I see that I included him in the discography for Twenty Years On Wheels but I¹m afraid I don¹t remember my reasoning. It would be nice to think it¹s
                          Message 12 of 24 , Oct 13, 2009
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                            And I see that I included him in the discography for "Twenty Years On
                            Wheels" but I¹m afraid I don¹t remember my reasoning. It would be nice to
                            think it¹s because he can be heard. Must check sometime.


                            on 13/10/2009 17:46, ikey100 at wlmoorman3@... wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > As regards rehearsals vs. recording sessions, a good example, among many, of
                            > such uncertainty from authentic memories is in Andy Kirk's book "Twenty Years
                            > On Wheels", in his anecdote about the Blanche Calloway and Her Joy Boys
                            > session. Kirk says that while playing a Philadelphia gig alongside Calloway,
                            > she was to record but lacked a band. I don't recall without checking if it was
                            > a theater or club, but according to Kirk's account, he was detained on a
                            > pretext upstairs while his band was secretly rehearsed with Calloway
                            > downstairs. He says that he figured out the scam that was underway, but leaves
                            > the impression that he was not part of the result. However, Rust lists Kirk
                            > himself as having played on the session in Camden with the rest of the band,
                            > so either the book's account is incomplete, or he was remembering the episode
                            > with some significant blurring of detail. Either way, his first hand anecdote
                            > is simultaneously authentic and yet possibly misleading.
                            >
                            > Warren
                            >
                            > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                            > Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                            >> >
                            >> > An even bigger problem with musicians¹ memories than the mere fallibility
                            >> of memory is the specific problem that the memories may be genuine but have
                            >> become attached to the wrong date or event, even without the help of the
                            >> interviewer.
                            >> >
                            >> > I know of a number of cases in which it is clear (e.g from their
                            >> remembering a different instrumentation from what is heard) that musicians
                            >> are remembering a rehearsal session rather than the recording session itself.
                            >> The rehearsal probably went on longer. Seriously. There is a lot of
                            >> circumstantial evidence that sidemen were often not clear whether a
                            >> particular performance was actually being recorded or not, and a lot of
                            >> confusion also between radio broadcasts and recording.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                            > howard@...
                            > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Michael
                            While I wasn t trained as any kind of historian, I d like to point out that the original reason for tying the Flo session to the Wade band was an alleged
                            Message 13 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                              While I wasn't trained as any kind of historian, I'd like to point out that the original reason for tying the "Flo" session to the Wade band was an alleged statement by Eva Taylor, cited at least by John Capes in the notes to a Frog CD and I think perpetuated in the notes to one of the Eva Taylor CDs on Document. No one has yet come forth with information on whether Eva actually said this or shown that she never said anything of the kind.

                              Michael Rader
                            • David Brown
                              Hello Michael So the second phantom to be laid at the door of poor Eva who was probably worn out by the discographical mafia. A classic example of the school
                              Message 14 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                                Hello Michael

                                So the second 'phantom' to be laid at the door of poor Eva who was probably
                                worn out by the discographical mafia.

                                A classic example of the school of discography which, upon hearsay of a
                                dubious memory, will scour the shelves to find an 'unknown' session to fit.

                                Dave





                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • jtdyamond
                                Hi David: And whoa, hold your horses! Before jumping to phantom conclusions which might prove rash, wouldn t it be better to ask John Capes what his source
                                Message 15 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                                  Hi David:

                                  And whoa, hold your horses! Before jumping to "phantom" conclusions
                                  which might prove rash, wouldn't it be better to ask John Capes what his
                                  source was for the claim that the tie-up of the "Flo" session with the
                                  Wade Band originated with Eva Taylor?

                                  Lord's Clarence Williams does not contain any info (except that one
                                  Howard Nelson was rumoured to be the violinist). A check through back
                                  numbers of Storyville might provide the source, as Eva Taylor featured
                                  quite prominently in articles there in the '70s and 80s. Unfortunately
                                  my files of old Storyvilles are buried somewhere in a pile of cardboard
                                  boxes still awaiting unpacking after a recent move. Such a check should
                                  be done, because after all, what we have here is a possible piece of
                                  evidence arising from the recollections of one who was there at the
                                  time, which in most cases would supersede aural identification to the
                                  contrary, even given the sometime unreliability of artists' memories.

                                  J.T.

                                  --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hello Michael
                                  >
                                  > So the second 'phantom' to be laid at the door of poor Eva who was
                                  probably
                                  > worn out by the discographical mafia.
                                  >
                                  > A classic example of the school of discography which, upon hearsay of
                                  a
                                  > dubious memory, will scour the shelves to find an 'unknown' session to
                                  fit.
                                  >
                                  > Dave
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • jtdyamond
                                  Hi again: I ve just seen Michael Rader s correction to the sleeve note ascription for the Flo band i/d: Richard Rains, not John Capes. Good. He s an easier
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                                    Hi again:

                                    I've just seen Michael Rader's correction to the sleeve note ascription for the "Flo" band i/d: Richard Rains, not John Capes. Good. He's an easier man to contact…

                                    J>T>

                                    --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "jtdyamond" <fearfeasa@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi David:
                                    >
                                    > And whoa, hold your horses! Before jumping to "phantom" conclusions
                                    > which might prove rash, wouldn't it be better to ask John Capes what his
                                    > source was for the claim that the tie-up of the "Flo" session with the
                                    > Wade Band originated with Eva Taylor?
                                    >
                                    > Lord's Clarence Williams does not contain any info (except that one
                                    > Howard Nelson was rumoured to be the violinist). A check through back
                                    > numbers of Storyville might provide the source, as Eva Taylor featured
                                    > quite prominently in articles there in the '70s and 80s. Unfortunately
                                    > my files of old Storyvilles are buried somewhere in a pile of cardboard
                                    > boxes still awaiting unpacking after a recent move. Such a check should
                                    > be done, because after all, what we have here is a possible piece of
                                    > evidence arising from the recollections of one who was there at the
                                    > time, which in most cases would supersede aural identification to the
                                    > contrary, even given the sometime unreliability of artists' memories.
                                    >
                                    > J.T.
                                    >
                                    > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@>
                                    > wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hello Michael
                                    > >
                                    > > So the second 'phantom' to be laid at the door of poor Eva who was
                                    > probably
                                    > > worn out by the discographical mafia.
                                    > >
                                    > > A classic example of the school of discography which, upon hearsay of
                                    > a
                                    > > dubious memory, will scour the shelves to find an 'unknown' session to
                                    > fit.
                                    > >
                                    > > Dave
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                  • Howard Rye
                                    I¹ve done a Storyville search using Bernhard Behncke¹s index and failed to find it, but I didn¹t really expect to because all the Storyville interviews with
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                                      I¹ve done a Storyville search using Bernhard Behncke¹s index and failed to
                                      find it, but I didn¹t really expect to because all the Storyville interviews
                                      with Eva took place before the publication of Tom Lord¹s Clarence Williams
                                      which was based on the Storyville serialization.
                                      I would therefore expect that if Eva had made the claim to Storyville, Lord
                                      would mention it if only to say that he thought her memory was at fault. As
                                      stated below, he doesn¹t.

                                      He does say that he knows of no real basis for naming Howard Nelson on
                                      violin, which is a classic example of applying a claim apparently made at
                                      some time by a musician that Nelson played on Williams recordings, to a
                                      session where he seems to fit and no other names are available. We really
                                      should have zapped him from Blues & Gospel Records in favour of U.N. Known.

                                      Dave Gladen¹s notes to Retrieval FJ121 are a red herring. Whoever did the
                                      discography, and it probably wasn¹t Dave Gladen (whom we can¹t ask because
                                      he is sadly no longer with us) simply notes for the sessions of c. 6 August
                                      and c. 5 October 1926 all the various claims that have been made, including
                                      the alleged involvement of the Wade band, which probably comes from Ernest
                                      Virgo. ³However, other opinion is that...², etc.

                                      We¹re in a fairyland of guesswork about guesswork.

                                      on 15/10/2009 22:40, jtdyamond at fearfeasa@... wrote:

                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Hi David:
                                      >
                                      > And whoa, hold your horses! Before jumping to "phantom" conclusions
                                      > which might prove rash, wouldn't it be better to ask John Capes what his
                                      > source was for the claim that the tie-up of the "Flo" session with the
                                      > Wade Band originated with Eva Taylor?
                                      >
                                      > Lord's Clarence Williams does not contain any info (except that one
                                      > Howard Nelson was rumoured to be the violinist). A check through back
                                      > numbers of Storyville might provide the source, as Eva Taylor featured
                                      > quite prominently in articles there in the '70s and 80s. Unfortunately
                                      > my files of old Storyvilles are buried somewhere in a pile of cardboard
                                      > boxes still awaiting unpacking after a recent move. Such a check should
                                      > be done, because after all, what we have here is a possible piece of
                                      > evidence arising from the recollections of one who was there at the
                                      > time, which in most cases would supersede aural identification to the
                                      > contrary, even given the sometime unreliability of artists' memories.
                                      >
                                      > J.T.
                                      >
                                      > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                                      > "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                                      > wrote:
                                      >> >
                                      >> > Hello Michael
                                      >> >
                                      >> > So the second 'phantom' to be laid at the door of poor Eva who was
                                      > probably
                                      >> > worn out by the discographical mafia.
                                      >> >
                                      >> > A classic example of the school of discography which, upon hearsay of
                                      > a
                                      >> > dubious memory, will scour the shelves to find an 'unknown' session to
                                      > fit.
                                      >> >
                                      >> > Dave
                                      >> >
                                      >> >
                                      >> >
                                      >> >
                                      >> >
                                      >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >> >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                                      > howard@...
                                      > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                                      >



                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • jtdyamond
                                      Thanks for doing the search of Storyville, Howard. Ernest Virgo s Arnett Nelson quest led him to seek out evidence of the Chicago-based Wade band s frequent
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Oct 15, 2009
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                                        Thanks for doing the search of Storyville, Howard.

                                        Ernest Virgo's Arnett Nelson quest led him to seek out evidence of the
                                        Chicago-based Wade band's frequent visits New York throughout the 1920s.
                                        Having found the dates for several periods when they were in New York,
                                        he then set about listening to a large number of recordings from within
                                        those periods, made at sessions where the i/ds were unknown or where
                                        their personnels as listed in Rust and Dixon & Godrich were doubtful. He
                                        was hampered, as we all are, by the fact that neither Rust nor Dixon &
                                        Godrich found it necessary to detail the bases on which their personnel
                                        ascriptions were made. (Brian Rust once told me in a letter that this
                                        was for lack of space.)

                                        Clarence Williams' many recordings were an obvious area to investigate:
                                        there were many dodgy i/d's, Clarence used many different personnels and
                                        also he was a New Orleans man, like Arnett - and NO men had a
                                        well-earned reputation for employing other NO men. They always gave the
                                        down-home boy a hand and anyway, given the clannish nature of NO music,
                                        they all knew each other, even if they weren't related to each other.

                                        In a number of cases I, or we in the panel, found his suspicions to be
                                        correct - on aural grounds, I hasten to point out. In others he was
                                        somewhat off the mark. (I recall that as a bonus we found a couple of
                                        probable identifications of Tommy Ladnier, where the catch-all i/d of Ed
                                        Allen had hitherto been ascribed.) As my memory tells me, the current
                                        case - "Flo" - is a halfway-house example, in so far as while it is
                                        patently NOT Arnett Nelson on clarinet, the cornet DOES sound very much
                                        like Jimmy Wade, while the violinist could be Eddie South. Members of
                                        the Wade Orchestra, without Arnett.

                                        On the "Flo" session, the clarinettist's embouchure is too firm, his
                                        tone too sweet for Arnett. His phrasing is not like Arnett's. There is a
                                        suggestion of a Johnny Dodds influence which argues against Arnett, too.
                                        (While they were both NO clarinettists, the old division of NO clarinet
                                        styles into two schools holds good in any comparison of Nelson and
                                        Dodds. Arnett belonged to the "classic" Creole school of NO clarinet;
                                        Johnny came from the other end of the scale - the rough bluesy end.)

                                        Chris Hillman's reported belief that the clarinettist here is Clifford
                                        "Klarinet" King needs to be investigated thoroughly, even given the
                                        dearth of testified recordings by him from the period. Aural comparison
                                        of the clarinet work here with known King recordings from the 30s
                                        suggests that the "Flo" clarinettist may well be King - but this is only
                                        an uncertain "maybe."

                                        Ernest was always open to having his theories challenged - where I was
                                        concerned at least. He operated on the research principle that you form
                                        a theory and then test it by whatever means available. Many of his
                                        suggestions regarding Nelson were untenable; some were more or less
                                        vindicated. In one particular case he managed to identify some blocks of
                                        recordings which were by the same unidentified clarinettist: but the
                                        only problem was, it wasn't Arnett. He always tried to back up his
                                        theories and suggested aural i/ds with hard historical evidence: too
                                        often, unfortunately, this is unavailable.

                                        Arnett Nelson wasn't his only musical interest. He also did a lot of
                                        good work tracking down Chicago blues pianists of the 1930s, such as
                                        Black Bob, Aletha Dickerson and my own favourite Blind John Davis. He
                                        was a serious, enthusiastic researcher. Sometimes his enthusiasm ran
                                        away with him, certainly, and had to be reined in - but that's what the
                                        rest of us were there for. He was a good, generous friend to me
                                        personally and I still miss his presence.

                                        J.T.
                                        --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I¹ve done a Storyville search using Bernhard Behncke¹s index and
                                        failed to
                                        > find it, but I didn¹t really expect to because all the Storyville
                                        interviews
                                        > with Eva took place before the publication of Tom Lord¹s Clarence
                                        Williams
                                        > which was based on the Storyville serialization.
                                        > I would therefore expect that if Eva had made the claim to Storyville,
                                        Lord
                                        > would mention it if only to say that he thought her memory was at
                                        fault. As
                                        > stated below, he doesn¹t.
                                        >
                                        > He does say that he knows of no real basis for naming Howard Nelson on
                                        > violin, which is a classic example of applying a claim apparently made
                                        at
                                        > some time by a musician that Nelson played on Williams recordings, to
                                        a
                                        > session where he seems to fit and no other names are available. We
                                        really
                                        > should have zapped him from Blues & Gospel Records in favour of U.N.
                                        Known.
                                        >
                                        > Dave Gladen¹s notes to Retrieval FJ121 are a red herring. Whoever
                                        did the
                                        > discography, and it probably wasn¹t Dave Gladen (whom we can¹t
                                        ask because
                                        > he is sadly no longer with us) simply notes for the sessions of c. 6
                                        August
                                        > and c. 5 October 1926 all the various claims that have been made,
                                        including
                                        > the alleged involvement of the Wade band, which probably comes from
                                        Ernest
                                        > Virgo. ³However, other opinion is that...², etc.
                                        >
                                        > We¹re in a fairyland of guesswork about guesswork.
                                        >
                                        > on 15/10/2009 22:40, jtdyamond at fearfeasa@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Hi David:
                                        > >
                                        > > And whoa, hold your horses! Before jumping to "phantom" conclusions
                                        > > which might prove rash, wouldn't it be better to ask John Capes what
                                        his
                                        > > source was for the claim that the tie-up of the "Flo" session with
                                        the
                                        > > Wade Band originated with Eva Taylor?
                                        > >
                                        > > Lord's Clarence Williams does not contain any info (except that one
                                        > > Howard Nelson was rumoured to be the violinist). A check through
                                        back
                                        > > numbers of Storyville might provide the source, as Eva Taylor
                                        featured
                                        > > quite prominently in articles there in the '70s and 80s.
                                        Unfortunately
                                        > > my files of old Storyvilles are buried somewhere in a pile of
                                        cardboard
                                        > > boxes still awaiting unpacking after a recent move. Such a check
                                        should
                                        > > be done, because after all, what we have here is a possible piece of
                                        > > evidence arising from the recollections of one who was there at the
                                        > > time, which in most cases would supersede aural identification to
                                        the
                                        > > contrary, even given the sometime unreliability of artists'
                                        memories.
                                        > >
                                        > > J.T.
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                        <mailto:RedHotJazz%40yahoogroups.com> ,
                                        > > "David Brown" johnhaleysims@
                                        > > wrote:
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> > Hello Michael
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> > So the second 'phantom' to be laid at the door of poor Eva who
                                        was
                                        > > probably
                                        > >> > worn out by the discographical mafia.
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> > A classic example of the school of discography which, upon
                                        hearsay of
                                        > > a
                                        > >> > dubious memory, will scour the shelves to find an 'unknown'
                                        session to
                                        > > fit.
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> > Dave
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> >
                                        > >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > >> >
                                        > >
                                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >>
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                                        > > howard@...
                                        > > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • David Brown
                                        Hello JT Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to offend and will withdraw phantom and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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                                          Hello JT

                                          Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to offend and
                                          will withdraw 'phantom' and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you like.

                                          I never knew Ernest Virgo but actually find his unbridled obsessive
                                          enthusiasm for Arnett in many ways admirable. But he had a far from hidden
                                          agenda -- to place his hero on as many sessions as possible.

                                          What we now have is a report from Rains from a report from Gladen of an
                                          undefined hearsay report of Eva. Is this the only evidence for trying to
                                          find Wade musicians on Clarence sessions ?

                                          'Flo' leapt into the saddle here due to the apparent Dodds influence,
                                          somewhat anomalous in NYC. Careful and sustained listening through all the
                                          possibilities brought me to the conviction that it is Arville, working back
                                          from the cast iron Arville we have, the Waller Buddies, through to the
                                          clinching Tibbs sides of 1928. Arville was a decent journeyman player and,
                                          as I wrote yesterday, care must be taken in approaching his ascribed
                                          presence. I think that several examples exist of him being falsely debited ,
                                          like Ed as catch-all, with the work of lesser players. But I agree that ears
                                          are subjective.

                                          As you say, so little substantiated King and I have heard nothing remotely
                                          like 'Flo'. What examples do you cite ?

                                          We have done Arnett here before several times and I've just checked the
                                          Archive and there is some debate on just how great was his connection to
                                          N.O. He was born Ellisville MS, 8.3.1892, 146 miles from N.O., and is still
                                          shown near there on census 1917. This contradicts reports that he arrived in
                                          Chicago in 1916.

                                          We have also well done here the mythical Uptown/Downtown N.O. clarinet
                                          'schools'. Oh, I'd better make that unsubstantiated.

                                          I have never listened for Wade on 'Flo' but shall now do so.

                                          Dave





                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • David Brown
                                          Back again. That didn t take long. It sounds, as always, like Ed and that rudimentary fiddle could never be The Dark Angel . On Eva. I reckon the poor old
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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                                            Back again. That didn't take long. It sounds, as always, like Ed and that
                                            rudimentary fiddle could never be 'The Dark Angel'.

                                            On Eva. I reckon the poor old lady got flummoxed and/or pissed by all the
                                            questions and came up with anything, such as 'Thomas', to keep the man
                                            quiet. I just cannot imagine her volunteering the fact that she worked with
                                            the Wade band. I can imagine her being asked if she ever worked with the
                                            Wade band.

                                            Dave





                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Howard Rye
                                            It hardly needs saying but I can confirm that the same applies to Dixon and Godrich. There were no academic grants for this work. Whatever was produced had to
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Oct 16, 2009
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                                              It hardly needs saying but I can confirm that the same applies to Dixon and
                                              Godrich. There were no academic grants for this work. Whatever was produced
                                              had to be affordable to the collectors who were the only source of finance.
                                              This meant compromise, compromise, compromise, all the way, and we are all
                                              lumbered with the resuilts.

                                              The biggest problem is ³inherited personnels², those which have been
                                              accepted by collectors since forever. With a sufficiently thorough search of
                                              John Godrich¹s files it is often possible to produce reasons for decisions
                                              he made, and I hope I can always justify subsequent changes (which doesn¹t
                                              mean that I am always willing or able to devote the time to doing so just
                                              because someone is curious. Sorry.), but in the nature of the case (Dixon &
                                              Godrich both had day jobs) they had no alternative but to accept personnels
                                              which were ³already established², often for records that only two or three
                                              informants had then heard, and one of them possibly very anxious to increase
                                              the sale value by reporting someone important and desirable on it. And this
                                              factor is much more forcefully operative with jazz instrumentals, along with
                                              the widespread conviction that every solo that isn¹t actually incompetent
                                              must be by a musician who has already been heard of.

                                              Looked at like this it¹s a wonder the whole thing isn¹t a worse mess than it
                                              is!




                                              on 16/10/2009 01:40, jtdyamond at fearfeasa@... wrote:

                                              > He
                                              > was hampered, as we all are, by the fact that neither Rust nor Dixon &
                                              > Godrich found it necessary to detail the bases on which their personnel
                                              > ascriptions were made. (Brian Rust once told me in a letter that this
                                              > was for lack of space.)
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >


                                              Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
                                              howard@...
                                              Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098




                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • jtdyamond
                                              There s nothing mythical about there being two broad NO clarinet schools, whatever present-day iconoclasts might posit. It arises out of the way society was
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Oct 17, 2009
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                                                There's nothing mythical about there being two broad NO clarinet
                                                schools, whatever present-day iconoclasts might posit. It arises out of
                                                the way society was organised in the city. Check Gumbo Ya-Ya.

                                                There may have been some debate as to how much of a connection Arnett
                                                had with NO; there was also a claim that his birthplace was in Missouri,
                                                if I remember correctly. Not all debate is informed. The area he was
                                                born in was within the socio-commercial ambit of NO - the NO hinterland
                                                if you like. As a musician he would have been drawn to the city, just as
                                                Oliver, Ory, Bunk and so many others were. He may have spent time in
                                                travelling bands with tent shows or on the vaudeville circuits passing
                                                through NO and so on and so forth. Check out the train lines, too.

                                                On the apparent Dodds influence on the Flo clarinettist: doesn't that
                                                argue against Arville Harris? There's nothing in his authenticated
                                                recordings to suggest Dodds, and he was a New York man. King on the
                                                other hand was Chicago-based and must have heard Dodds live in various
                                                cabarets.

                                                Didn't Yves François list some of King's recordings back in July or
                                                August in this thread?

                                                JT

                                                --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "David Brown" <johnhaleysims@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Hello JT
                                                >
                                                > Many thanks for your long and fascinating post. I do not wish to
                                                offend and
                                                > will withdraw 'phantom' and substitute -oh er - unsubstantiated if you
                                                like.
                                                >
                                                > I never knew Ernest Virgo but actually find his unbridled obsessive
                                                > enthusiasm for Arnett in many ways admirable. But he had a far from
                                                hidden
                                                > agenda -- to place his hero on as many sessions as possible.
                                                >
                                                > What we now have is a report from Rains from a report from Gladen of
                                                an
                                                > undefined hearsay report of Eva. Is this the only evidence for trying
                                                to
                                                > find Wade musicians on Clarence sessions ?
                                                >
                                                > 'Flo' leapt into the saddle here due to the apparent Dodds influence,
                                                > somewhat anomalous in NYC. Careful and sustained listening through all
                                                the
                                                > possibilities brought me to the conviction that it is Arville, working
                                                back
                                                > from the cast iron Arville we have, the Waller Buddies, through to the
                                                > clinching Tibbs sides of 1928. Arville was a decent journeyman player
                                                and,
                                                > as I wrote yesterday, care must be taken in approaching his ascribed
                                                > presence. I think that several examples exist of him being falsely
                                                debited ,
                                                > like Ed as catch-all, with the work of lesser players. But I agree
                                                that ears
                                                > are subjective.
                                                >
                                                > As you say, so little substantiated King and I have heard nothing
                                                remotely
                                                > like 'Flo'. What examples do you cite ?
                                                >
                                                > We have done Arnett here before several times and I've just checked
                                                the
                                                > Archive and there is some debate on just how great was his connection
                                                to
                                                > N.O. He was born Ellisville MS, 8.3.1892, 146 miles from N.O., and is
                                                still
                                                > shown near there on census 1917. This contradicts reports that he
                                                arrived in
                                                > Chicago in 1916.
                                                >
                                                > We have also well done here the mythical Uptown/Downtown N.O. clarinet
                                                > 'schools'. Oh, I'd better make that unsubstantiated.
                                                >
                                                > I have never listened for Wade on 'Flo' but shall now do so.
                                                >
                                                > Dave
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >



                                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              • David Brown
                                                Hello JT I think we well rehearsed here the arguments for and against the N.O. clarinet schism theory as well as more generally the Uptown/Downtown schism
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Oct 19, 2009
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                                                  Hello JT

                                                  I think we well rehearsed here the arguments for and against the N.O.
                                                  clarinet schism theory as well as more generally the Uptown/Downtown schism
                                                  theory. I don't want to repeat and refer you to the archive. The threads
                                                  often get altered but a search with Dodds would find most of the material. I
                                                  would certainly welcome comment from so informed a source.

                                                  We also touched on the argument you seem to advocate of social history over
                                                  art history i.e. that social conditions in N.O. were dominant over artistic
                                                  in deciding the shape of the music. The starting point for our previous
                                                  debate was the lack of apparent influence left by Dodds, and the postulated
                                                  pre-existent Uptown blues clarinet school, apart from a few examples such as
                                                  Willie Joseph and Andrew Morgan. But really very little and none later than
                                                  late 20s and none from the revival.

                                                  Also nowhere in any of the eye witness accounts do we have a single name of
                                                  a non-Creole clarinettist. Dodds himself, although not apparently taught by
                                                  Tio, was taught my Charlie McCurdy/McCurtis, a straight reading musician. If
                                                  we believe Dodds is on the Oliver CJB 'Zulu's Ball' session he shows
                                                  himself to be capable, expert even, in standard Creole clarinet style.

                                                  I suggest that the Uptown blues clarinet school was devised to explain the
                                                  unacceptable creative originality of the man known as 'Toilet'. Evidence is
                                                  that Dodds ran with Bechet and Milé Barnes and that their styles were
                                                  individually and collectively formed on the basis of that of Louis Nelson
                                                  Delisle, a Creole, well fringe Creole.

                                                  As to Arnett, I think Bob Eagle found definitive biographical details from
                                                  census. His style seems eclectic and to defy geographical classification.

                                                  As to Arville, I did find and cite further examples of his playing in 'Flo'
                                                  style. Arguable whether it's Dodds influence. Bob Fuller was surely the
                                                  dominant East Coast clarinet stylist and I would place Arville under his
                                                  sphere. Fuller can also sound, at times, not a million miles from Dodds. I
                                                  have no sure way to account for this but I believe that the CJB records
                                                  would have been in wide circulation among musicians. I could also not
                                                  discount the existence of an independent, if not hermetic, East Coast
                                                  clarinet style which arrived at some of the same solutions as Dodds.

                                                  I could find no similarity to 'Flo' in the King sides cited. The
                                                  attributions are anyway seriously insecure and the playing there far more
                                                  redolent of Noone, next to whom King sat with Cook, than to Dodds.

                                                  Dave





                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • spacelights
                                                  On the subject of the Wade band in New York... is this the basis for the Perry Bradford Timeless CD s firm identification of a Wade group on the 1926 Georgia
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Nov 15, 2009
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                                                    On the subject of the Wade band in New York... is this the basis for the Perry Bradford Timeless CD's firm identification of a Wade group on the 1926 Georgia Strutters dates? Do our Arnett Nelson researchers hear him on the Strutters' Wasn't It Nice?/Original Black Bottom Dance?

                                                    Here's a relevant (if somewhat open to interpretation) excerpt from Bradford's 1965 memoir... He attributes this quote to Eddie South:

                                                    "...Perry gave Jimmy Wade's band our first break when we came to New York... yes, he laid four recording dates on us, and through Perry's efforts we got a five months' engagement at Club Alabam. Our band followed Fletcher (Smack) Henderson into this exclusive club when Smack moved into the Roseland Ballroom."

                                                    Wade's group recorded with Bradford for Gennett in April 1927; the other dates seem to be the OKeh Bradfords...?

                                                    John

                                                    ps The early Wade Paramounts are prime candidates for remastering/reissue.
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